If you weren't already jealous of the celebs headed down to Miami to party and attend the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, just wait till you see where they're staying.
From personal butlers to perspiration patrol, Usher, Beyoncé and the rest won't have much to worry about, other than keeping their fingers crossed for a Moonman. MTV News took a peek inside the posh digs at the Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton to see how the other half will live this week.
The Far East meets the far South at this lavish resort, where guests are treated to Zen calmness and a Miami hotspot all in one.
In one of the two 2,000 square-foot Mandarin Suites, guests can meditate on how good they have it in their own serenity room with a soaking tub, steam shower and treatment area. Or they can page the spa therapist on call 24 hours a day to do it for them. The hotel also provides a spa butler, who will array the room with candles, rose petals or any other relaxation aid the guest desires.
The hotel's Mandarin Suite has a kitchen so Michelle Bernstein, the chef at the hotel's Azul restaurant, can prepare food for guests right in their room. A service entrance ensures that the wait staff doesn't disturb the guests.
The Mandarin Oriental's other high-roller accommodation, the Oriental Suite, features a full media room and theater. The 2,365 square-foot room, which runs $5,000 a night, also has a full kitchen, a formal dining room, a grand piano, a fireplace, two plasma TVs and a personal butler on call.
The hotel makes every effort to cater to its guests, and special requests from this year's VMA guests so far include extra towels, humidifiers and Kabbalah water. In the past, celebs have requested that all natural light be blocked out of a room, that treadmills or personal trainers be brought in and that a prosciutto slicer be provided.
The Mandarin Oriental is also renowned for its spa. Besides the 11 treatment rooms, there are six suites where VIPs are pampered with ESPA products. After arriving via private elevator, guests have full views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline and are treated to spa cuisine or tea before getting down to the business of relaxation.
The most popular treatments booked for the VMAs are the Ayurvedic Holistic Body Treatment ($260), in which guests are given a facial cleanse, a massage and have warm oil poured on their third eye chakras; the Balinese Synchronized Massage ($380), where two therapists work on your tense muscles at once; and the Mandarin Hot Stone Massage ($185), which uses heated basalt stones to relieve deep muscle tension and create a sense of calmness and balance.
As the tallest building in town, the Four Seasons Miami brings new meaning to the saying "top o' the world, ma."
Guests in the luxurious Presidential Suite have full views of the city from their $4,000 a night top-floor perch. It measures 2,830 to 3,830 square feet, depending on whether it is configured for one, two or three bedrooms. The room has two seating areas, a dining-room table for eight, a living room with Bang & Olufsen plasma TVs, original art from the hotel's $3.3 million collection, and a butler. The bathroom is equipped with a soaking tub, a bidet, twin vanities, a separate dressing area and toiletries provided by Bulgari and L'Occitane.
When guests venture out of their rooms, they go to Bahía, the rooftop bar, which overlooks an 18-foot waterfall; the Sports Club/LA fitness center; or the Splash spa, which is equipped with 10 treatment rooms and a couples suite. The hotel's signature treatments include the $260 Splash De-Stress Ocean Stone Massage and Body Cocoon, the $140 Healing Propolis Wrap (propolis is an ingredient indigenous to the Brazilian rain forest and is said to have curative properties), and the $280 Jet Lag Reviver. The spa uses the French skincare line Thalgo.
On the two-acre Bahía Terrace, which features three large swimming pools, a wading pool and a poolside bar, guests are waited on by the hotel's attendants, who offer cool, moist towels and spritz the overheated visitors with Evian misters.
With more than 80 different room configurations, this five-star hotel aims to make each guest's stay unique while providing everyone with personalized service and touches like custom-designed floral arrangements throughout the hotel.
The swankiest room in the house is the Ritz-Carlton Suite, which runs $5,500 a night. The 2,500 square-foot oceanfront room has a 200 degree view of Miami from its wraparound windows and L-shaped balcony, a California king-size bed, two bathrooms, a wet bar, an espresso machine, a microwave, two plasma TVs, two surround-sound stereos, a walk-in closet that holds 150-200 outfits, a dining room table for 10, a living room, a catering kitchen and a butler on call.
The hotel also features six Lanai Suites ($2,500 to $3,500 a night) that flank the hotel so that guests don't have to pass through the regular lobby to get to and from their rooms. The one-bedroom suites have a living room, a full wet bar, a sitting area and two bathrooms. But the big draw here is that these rooms are about 50 feet away from the ocean.
For its Lanai Suite guests, the R-C offers its own version of the Oscars' goodie bags. In it, VIPs will find an exclusive flavor of Bacardi rum — Mango — plus regular and mini bottles of Moët & Chandon, ice holders so you can bring the champagne to the beach, La Maison de Beaute Carita skincare products, Ritz-Carlton logo polo shirts, and a gift certificate for Donald J. Pliner, a local shoe designer.
The ninth and 10th floors of the hotel are exclusive VIP club levels available only to guests staying on those floors. There, they have access to a lounge that offers five food and beverage presentations a day and a Bacardi open bar.
In preparation for the influx of celebrities arriving for the VMAs, the Ritz-Carlton concierge arranged for personal shoppers and a seamstress for any last-minute wardrobe distress, and the hotel upgraded about $15,000 worth of TV and stereo equipment. The concierge also booked boat excursions, jet skis, limousines and reservations at the finest restaurants in town, including Nobu, Prime One Twelve, Barton G, and the hotel's own Americana.
And if there's anything that he hasn't already taken care of, don't worry. "If you can dream it," he said, "I can do it."
Catch all the sizzlin', star-packed VMA action direct from Miami on August 28. MTV News' preshow kicks things off at 6:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the big show at 8 p.m.